The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023

We select the must-see exhibitions taking place across the city.

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Spring is arriving across Europe – bringing with it warmer days, longer nights, and of course, Milan Design Week and the Salone del Mobile furniture fair, taking place across the Italian city from April 17 to 23.

Most who have been would agree that there are equal amounts of stress and excitement involved in planning a Salone schedule, but nonetheless – we’re readying ourselves for the annual overload of inspiration and will be heading to the city to clock fresh talent, select our favorite furniture, and immerse ourselves within installations.

No guide would be complete without the basics. Terminology-wise, Salone del Mobile more specifically refers to the furniture fair at the Fiera Milano exhibition center. Here, the world’s biggest furniture brands (think Vitra, Cassina, Poltrona Frau, and Molteni&C) flock to showcase brand-new collections on a huge scale. On the flip side, Milan Design Week is a bit of a catch-all term that encompasses the activity taking place across the city. Also referred to as “Fuorisalone”, it considers each of Milan’s districts and is packed full of activations from schools, galleries, brands, and independent designers. There’s a handy map here, which also sheds light on the key districts: 5Vie, Brera, Tortona, Isola, Centrale, Triennale di Milano, and Porto Venezia to name a few.

As per, we’ve digested the schedule to pick out some must-see exhibitions. Check it out below, and keep your eyes on our Milan Design Week coverage in the weeks to come.


Vero

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Arguably the freshest brand showing in Milan, Vero presents its latest collection designed with their shiny network of design talents. Drop 4 will feature pieces by the likes of A617, Atelier Axo, Alex Proba, Big Game, Cara/Davide/ Federica Elmo, Lex Pott, and Studio Navet, and sees the brand building on earlier ranges. Hypebeast will celebrate the new pieces in the brand’s space on Thursday, April 20, with conscious cocktails provided by NIO.

Via Felice Casati 3

Isola Design District

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

If you’re in the mood for some meaty research projects, head to the Isola design district, where international designers and collectives will gather to present explorations into the theme of “Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens”. “Isola Design Festival will be the hub for new, collectible, circular, sustainable, and innovative design,” says co-founder Elif Resitoglu. “Our effort is to rally all members of the design community, visitors, and designers alike, to actually make something happen.”

Isola Design District

Casa Blond

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

In an interview earlier this month, Blond founder James Melia let us in on some exciting details surrounding their Milan presentation. Taking over a space in Brera, the London-based studio will quite literally move its operations from the UK to Italy, hosting some of its clients and the work they’ve made together, as well as solo projects.

Via Pietro Maroncelli 7

CFGNY, Marsèll Paradise

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

In Marsèll’s showroom, an exhibition exploring the work of art collective CFGNY (pictured) curated by PIN–UP Magazine’s Felix Burrichter will be on show. Named CFGNY: Emporium, the show brings together previous presentations staged by the four-person studio, and will feature pieces that range from garments and design objects to architectural installations.

Via Paullo 12/A Paullo

Ten, Gubi

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

At an iconic venue in the city, Bagni Misteriosi, Danish brand Gubi will present an exhibition named Ten, which brings together 10 creatives from around the world to that celebrate the famed Beetle Chair, in celebration of its 10th anniversary. The international lineup is set to include fashion designers, product and lighting designers, architects, artists, illustrators and even tattooists.

Bagni Misteriosi

Capsule Plaza, Spazio Maiocchi

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Capsule Plaza will unveil a new extension of the space during this year’s Salone, designed and renovated by architect Paolo Caracini and Laboratorio Permanente. Installations on show include Dozie Kanu for Byredo Bal d’Afrique, Snarkitecture for Gufram, Sabine Marcelis for La Prairie, Armature Globale for On, Formafantasma for Tacchini, and Panter & Tourron for XL Extralight.

Via Achille Maiocchi 3/5/7/10

Chairs, Loewe

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Loewe returns to Milan with an exhibition focusing on the humble chair. However, in true Loewe style, the ubiquitous item is elevated through the act of craft, with artisans from around the world employing a number of techniques to intervene across the objects. Unexpected materials will sit alongside those typical of the label’s visual language and will be exhibited across the grand Palazzo Isimbardi.

Palazzo Isimbardi

Poikilos, Objects of Common Interest

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

An exhibition exploring iridescence will take place across the huge atrium of Nilfar Depot. Curated by Studio Vedet, it features the work of Greek studio Objects of Common Interest. Seats, tables, lamps, and vases whose materiality is accentuated by the skillful use of lines and geometries, juxtapositions and combinations of solids, and dialogue between curves and sharp angles.

Nilufar Depot

Funct Feast Immorale, Tableau

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Copenhagen favorite Tableau will arrive in Milan to create what they refer to as a “dining room for the gods”. Setting up shop in the Immorale restaurant, they will bring along artists and designers who have created pieces that fit into a restaurant setting – with guests invited to make use of the collections rather than observing only.

Osé via Tadino 43

Vieni a Vedere, Bottega Venta & Gaetano Pesce

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Now well-acquainted collaborators, Bottega Veneta and Gaetano Pesce will transform the brand’s Milanese boutique into an immersive site-specific installation made from resin and fabric. Grotto-like in its appearance, the design will be used to frame a limited-edition run of two handbags designed by Pesce and crafted by the house’s artisans. Places need to be booked via the Bottega Veneta website.

Via Sant’Andrea 15

Droog30 – Design or Non-Design?

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

This show will celebrate 30 years of Dutch design collective Droog, which was founded by Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker and made its international debut in Milan in 1993. The overarching aim of Droog was to subvert design as we knew it, by transforming ordinary objects into unexpected items. Many consider it the last design movement of sorts, with it inspiring generations of designers from the Netherlands in particular. Works by many of them will be on show, and have been selected by Maria Cristina Didero and designer Richard Hutten. While you’re at the Triennale, make a point of heading to the Museo del Design Italiano show, which tracks the journey of iconic Italian designers and their pieces over the past 100 years.

Triennale Milano

Maarten Baas & G Star RAW

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Dutch designer Maarten Baas is making a long-awaited return to Milan alongside denim brand G-Star RAW. Although details of the exhibition are being kept largely under wraps, what we do know is that it’s taking place in the surroundings of the 16th-century Church of San Paolo Converso, and will delve into our “constant struggle to achieve a balance between our desire for more and our need for less”.

Church of San Paolo Converso

Alcova

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

It’s tough to sum up the delights of Alcova into a succinct paragraph, as the platform has grown to become a space where designers, galleries, brands, schools and museums show side by side. This year, a new location takes Alcova to the former Porta Vittoria abbatoir. To make the most of your time there, stick around for a series of talks presented by London’s Map Project Office titled Where Next?, which will explore some of the big questions facing design and technology today. A must-visit for those seeking inspiration from designers looking towards the future.

Via Molise 62

Design Academy Eindhoven, Salone Satellite

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

Over at the Fiera, the Salone Satellite platform has been a home for young designers since 1998. Although it typically sets up a show in the city, the Design Academy Eindhoven will head to the space to present “X”, with works exploring the way in which design can play a part in an uncertain future. Alongside the show, a live radio project will take place – hosting public debates, discussions, and workshops.

Fiera Milano

Assembling the Future Together, IKEA

The Hypebeast Guide to Milan Design Week 2023 Salone del Mobile

IKEA tends to be a key player during Milan Design Week. The furniture giant will this year head to Tortona, creating an exhibition that looks across its 80-year history, while presenting ideas for the future. Throughout the day, exhibitions offer visitors plenty to look at and learn, while at night, the space transforms into a music venue complete with a full program of artists.

Padiglione Visconti

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